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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Releases from Picador Books!



My goal this summer is to read 20 books  - and Picador Books is helping me reach my goal big time! I just received this awesome box of book mail from them and now I can't decide which one to read first! {Books provided for review/feature consideration}



The Memory Painter A Novel by Gwendolyn Womack - Spanning six continents and more than 10,000 years, "the guy-meets-girl story as you've never heard it before" (Refinery29) Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there's a secret to Bryan's success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. All his life, Bryan has wondered if his dreams are recollections of other people’s lives, and now he dares to hope that his art will lead him to someone who understands. And when he meets Linz Jacobs, a neorogenticist who recognizes a recurring childhood nightmare in one Bryan's paintings, he thinks he’s finally found her. Their meeting triggers Bryan's most powerful dream yet—visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer's, died in a lab explosion decades ago. As his visions intensify, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.



Disgruntled A Novel by Asali Solomon - An elegant, vibrant, startling coming-of-age novel for anyone who has ever felt the shame of being alive Kenya Curtis is only eight years old, but she knows that she's different, even if she can't put her finger on how or why. It's not because she's black-most of the other students in the fourth-grade class at her West Philadelphia elementary school are too. Maybe it's because she celebrates Kwanza, or because she's forbidden from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Maybe it's because she calls her father-a housepainter-slash-philosopher-"Baba" instead of "Daddy," or because her parents' friends gather to pour out libations "from the Creator, for the Martyrs" and discuss "the community." Disgruntled, effortlessly funny and achingly poignant, follows Kenya from West Philadelphia to the suburbs, from public school to private, from childhood through adolescence, as she grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place or thing or person that feels like home. A coming-of-age tale, a portrait of Philadelphia in the late eighties and early nineties, an examination of the impossible double-binds of race, Disgruntled is a novel about the desire to rise above the limitations of the narratives we're given and the painful struggle to craft fresh ones we can call our own.



This Is Not My Beautiful Life A Memoir by Victoria Fedden - If you think it sucks to live with your parents when you're thirty-six and nine months pregnant, just wait till the DEA comes knocking (with the IRS in tow). Welcome to Victoria Fedden's life. When a squad of federal agents burst through her parents’ front door, Victoria Fedden felt ill-prepared to meet them: she was weeks away from her due date and her t-shirt wasn’t long enough to hide her maternity undies. As for the question of how to raise a child when you’ve just discovered that your mother and stepfather have allegedly masterminded a pump-and-dump scheme? She was pretty sure that wasn’t covered in What to Expect When You’re Expecting—and she really hoped that Bradford Cohen, the noted criminal defense attorney who famously waived his exemption on The Apprentice, would prove them innocent. A real-life Arrested Development that could only unfold in Southern Florida, This Is Not My Beautiful Life is a hilariously funny and unexpectedly moving memoir of a just-functional family, and the story of how Victoria lost her parents to prison and nearly lost her mind.



The Lost Child A Novel by Caryl Phillips - A gripping and inventive reimagining of Wuthering HeightsIn the tradition of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and J. M. Coetzee's Foe, the award-winning novelist Caryl Phillips revisits Emily Brontë's masterpiece Wuthering Heights as a lyrical tale of orphans and outcasts, absence and hope. A sweeping novel spanning generations, The Lost Child tells the story of young Heathcliff's life before Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to his family; the Brontë sisters and their wayward brother, Branwell; Monica, whose father forces her to choose between her family and the foreigner she loves; and a boy's disappearance into the wildness of the moors and the brother he leaves behind. Phillips deftly spins these disparate lives—bound by the past and struggling to liberate themselves from it—into a stunning literary work. Phillips has been called "in a league with Toni Morrison and V. S. Naipaul" (Donna Seaman, Booklist), and his work is charged with the complexities of migration, alienation, and displacement. Haunting and heartbreaking, The Lost Child transforms a classic into a profound story that is singularly its own.



Pretty Is A Novel ​by ​Maggie Mitchell -​ A fiercely imagined fiction debut in which two young women face what happened the summer they were twelve, when a handsome stranger abducted them.

The summer precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in a cabin in the woods for two months by a charismatic stranger. Nearly twenty years later, Lois has become a professor, teaching British literature at a small college in upstate New York, and Carly May is an actress in Los Angeles, drinking too much and struggling to revive her career. When a movie with a shockingly familiar plot draws the two women together once more, they must face the public exposure of their secret history and confront the dark longings and unspeakable truths that haunt them still. Maggie Mitchell's Pretty Is beautifully defies ripped-from-the-headlines crime story expectations and announces the debut of a masterful new storytelling talent.

I'm tempted to start with the memoir because I usually don't read those, but This Is Not My Life sounds heartbreaking and hilarious. What do you think I should read first? What's on your reading list for the summer? I've read 3 {These Vicious Masks, Everything I Never Told You, and A Study In Charlotte} since the start of June and I have until August to meet my goal - do you think I can do it? Until next time...



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